Interview with Josh Cleaver, YachtQuarters Sales Manager

What is your boating background?
I’ve been in and around the water from an early age. I’ve surfed around UK and Europe, been an RNLI life guard in West Wales where I grew up, and my father races hovercrafts!

How did your career in the marine industry begin?
I’d been selling software, making 400 cold calls a month when I decided on a complete change. I booked a one-way ticket to Australia and got a job with a friend who was selling Absolute yachts. I spent a month boat cleaning before deciding that I could do better at selling.

What next?
I moved to Australian Superyachts, selling the Majesty range from Gulf Craft. I sold three yachts over 100ft which involved meeting clients in Dubai seeing boats in build. I also spent 6 months with Premier Marine selling Absolute and Chris-Craf boats, but having met and married my wife, it was time to return to the UK.

What’s your most abiding Australian boating memory?
One of the first boats I experienced was a Chris-Craft Corsair 34 with twin Mercruiser 350hp engines. We cruised across Sydney Harbour, a classic Australian sunset lighting up Sydney Opera House, it was just incredible.

So you’re with Princess Motor Yacht Sales now. What are you focusing on?
I’m the UK Sales Manager for Chris-Craft and the UK Sales Manager for our YachtQuarters yacht share program. I’m drawing on my Australian yacht share experience to build something world class in the yacht share market.

Sounds exciting, what are your plans?
Yacht share is a fantastic concept, but the trick is to get the recipe exactly right, and what excites me about Princess Motor Yacht Sales is that it has all the ingredients needed to do that. So for example, we’re basing the first yachts in Mallorca which is a stunning yachting area, but crucially one in which PMYS has a huge presence. 25 of the 45 staff there are technicians, which enables us to jump on any issue immediately, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum. There’s a saying that the best boat in the world is your friend’s boat (because you get to enjoy it without any of the hassle of owning it). We’re making the best boat in the world a YachtQuarters boat.

What makes your yacht share scheme the best?
We’re offering a complete package. Where most syndicates require a degree of involvement from its owners regarding the running of the boat, we take care of absolutely everything. And beyond that, we have a dedicated concierge service. An owner can pick a week, contact the concierge, chat though his plans and we will work out the entire itinerary, everything from the best anchorages to the most appropriate restaurants for their tastes. All the owner and his group have to do is turn up, we take care of absolutely everything else.

Any other unique features?
We’re making it more accessible. Any yacht share company is only as good as the business behind it and people need to experience that. So as well as high end multi million pound yachts, we’re introducing smaller and pre-owned models presented in a particularly fantastic condition that will allow owners to enter at a lower level, experience what we have to offer and then move on up if they choose.

How are you getting the YachtQuarters message out there?
We’re taking the boats to the buyers. We put the Princess R35 and a Chris-Craft in front of the Boisdale Club in Canary Wharf, London for a week and we’ve had a boat at supercar events. We’re also looking to introduce a shared ownership scheme for Chris-Craft, again with every aspect taken care of, right down to the food and drink you want on board when you turn up. We’re attracting a whole new market – why spend £50,000 on a weekend sportscar to sit in a traffic jam when the same money will grant you access to a sportsboat and the open water?

words by Nick Burnham

If you are thinking about shared ownership and would like to find out more, contact Josh on +44 (0)207 499 5050 or email info@yachtquarters.com